Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Global Library Landscape

my notes from the last session I attended today:

Global Library Landscape
Marshall Breeding, Director for Innovative Technologies and Research for the Vanderbilt University Libraries

runs Library Technology Guides website - has done so for many years - http://www.librarytechnology.org/
provides reports and info on library automation field
directory of libraries' automation systems (who's running what) - libwebcats site - http://www.librarytechnology.org/libwebcats/?SID=20100413976867675
ILS turnover report is a new report he developed in Perl to see which systems were migrated off of
- caveat: only as complete as has data (pretty good from United States, once Canada = ok, then non-English-speaking = not so accurate)
his goal is to get more and more information - if you can help Marshall out, please let him know, keep him up-to-date so we can all understand the library automation marketplace (so we can make better decisions)

Another - more complex - report = ILS turnover reverse
"if I had this system today, what are others replacing it with"
tries to track internationally, e.g., in Australia - Public libraries has data
a lot of systems elsewhere we're not so familiar with in the US - such as Bookmark
what is the most used library software in the world? Isis software family developed by UNESCO back in the 60s, did he say? derivatives of it. New version of it, called ABCD (in Spanish) - open source version

Perceptions Report
- has done past couple of years
- 3rd annual survey = Perceptions 2009
- Apollo had great year topped the charts (new), as are Polaris, Auto-Graphics
- Apollo serves underserved libraries - small former Winnebago sites for example
- at his website - perceptions2009.pl - to see it for yourself
- of course, take with a grain of salt, since you hear most from those who are unhappiest (also those overly happy, the middle not as likely to respond)
- free for you to go look at, at his website

General conclusions
- the simpler the problem - the happier the users - single, non-automated libraries easy to please
- large municipal libraries & academic libraries (complex situations) - less happy with automation situation - so can't say that companies that serve the more complex situations
- people running open source ILS' are no happier than those with vendor-supplied
- his interpretation = if you run your own system, though, you'll be more likely to report it better (ergo, the open source must be really bad???)-
Library Journal automation marketplace
- published annual in April 1st issue
- based on data provided by each vendor
- less likely for vendors to give info
- focused primarily on north america
since 2002, has been doing the automation marketplace
- 2010: new models, core systems (base of industry, still = core ILS)
- 2009: investing in the future
- 2008: opportunity out of turmoil
- 2007: an industry redefined
- 2006: reshuffling the deck
- 2005 gradual evolution
- 2004: migration down, innovation up
this past year, terrible year for selling, but some did ok, such as Aleph
[...wow, data on III's Millennium = 157 sales in 2001 but only 45 in 2010, though still 2nd of all of the vendors]

mature systems - no longer based on best or most features, now based on models for future
recurring revenue more important to vendors than 1st-time sales
- software as a service fits that idea
New user interfaces = HUGE ACTIVITY = discovery platforms
- the front door of library through web presence is the most important piece of the system development these days
- not as worried about the back-end right now

Business transitions
- Polaris Library Systems - management buyout - good thing
- LibLime - (open source support services) acquired by competitor PTFS - even in open source, consolidation in fragmented market niche

Key Context = Libraries In Transition
- huge shifts, print to electronic, especially in academic
- key issue = particularly subscribed content, such as articles/databases
- strong emphasis on digitizing local collections
- demands for enterprise integration and interoperability
(if not integrated, system becomes less relevant)
- building for new generation of library users
- digital natives, web-savvy
- web2.0 concepts
- collaborative
Technologies in Transition
- client-server technology = dead
- web services / cloud computing / xml / service-oriented architecture = today
- Beyond Web2.0 (integration of social computing into core infrastructure)
- full spectrum of devices (portables - mobile, iPhone, iPad, etc.)
- evolutionary
- revolutionary
- open source and licensed alternatives
evolutionary path
- gradual enhancement of long-standing ILS platforms
- wraps legacy code in APIs and Web services
- 3 decades' long system deployment in some libraries

rethinking library automation
- working toward service-oriented architectures

can't believe Marshall forgot ByWater in the list of open source solutions support companies... are they too new for him? not sure what the criteria for inclusion are... maybe he'll remember next year... He does have LibLime & PTFS though.

talks about opening up library systems through web services and SOA - using APIs to open things up to proprietary, traditional ILS'

new models of library collection discovery
- from local discovery to web-scale discovery
- lots of non-library websites delivery library info to patrons (Amazon, e.g.)

the model that's still around in library web presence is one of first asking the format someone wants, then delivering to separate system with different look/feel - get rid of menu of siloes

modernized interface:
- single search box
- query tools (did you mean? suggest)
- relevance-ranked results
- faceted navigation
front-end decoupled from back-end
social discovery
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